Wind River Range August-September - with time to roam


New Member
May 12, 2018
Brief introduction: Having missed it for years for some reason, I recently found and joined BP and have really enjoyed reading all the excellent input, trip reports, etc. from all the experienced travelers. I am closing my law practice at the end of this month and in early August am traveling out to the Winds, Tetons, Yellowstone and other ranges and areas for about three months. I’ve been climbing and backpacking for many years in the US, Canada and abroad but have never been to these areas.

In the Winds, I’ll be climbing some of that time with people who have experience in the Range, but I’m also interested in doing two or three backpacking trips. The climbing missions will be with partners who have limited time, so that hiking will be solely as approaches to peaks. But for backpacking I am planning on more leisurely trips to with basecamps and day trips to explore and decompress. Since I have sufficient time I’m not particularly interested in high mileage days (I understand “high mileage” in a place like the Winds is relative to difficulty) or covering a huge area in any one trip. I approach all mountains with healthy respect and don’t presume to take the this area lightly.

I’ve poured over the Kelsey book, trip reports and other resources describing a multitude of loops and shuttle trips. But I’ve noticed several folks on BP have significant experience in the Winds and request your input. Most reports, of course, are of trips involving one-night camps and higher mileage days. So, given my desires, does anyone have any recommendations? I’ll be able to shuttle but would also like recommendations on loops. Thanks very much. David
Check out my thread in the trip planning. I currently have a week-long backpacking trip in the northern Winds August 20-26. We still have room for a couple more people to join us if you are interested.
That thread also has my trip report from last year when we did a southern loop...5 1/2 days.
Check out my thread in the trip planning. I currently have a week-long backpacking trip in the northern Winds August 20-26. We still have room for a couple more people to join us if you are interested.
That thread also has my trip report from last year when we did a southern loop...5 1/2 days.
Dune, Thanks for the invite but I am climbing in the Cirque the 19th to 23rd.
No worries. Enjoy the is breath-taking. Hope you found the trip-report useful.
You might want to consider exploring more of the southern Winds around your visit to the Cirque. There are a number of excellent loops that are in the 3-8 day short-mileage range. While I usually avoid it due to crowds, this year I'll be taking my girlfriend on a 3 day loop over Texas Pass to Lizard Head Meadows and back out via Jackass Pass. If I had the time, a longer route over Lizard Head Plateau would be great.

Certainly check out the northern Winds at least while you're there. Even the classic Island Lake area (dayhikes to Indian and Titcomb basins; Big Slide, Wall Lake) could be worthwhile. Those are well documented. More challenging but more remote would be Bear Basin near the Green River TH or entering via the wilder east side via the Glacier Trail near Dubois. I hope to make it to the Dry Creek area if I ever have enough time. Currently debating whether I do it this year with my nephew. It's a long way in but spectacular opportunities in the area. I also enjoy the middle section of the range, especially for solitude. It's easy to set up camp and explore Europe Canyon, Rainbow Lake to Middle Fork, etc...

If getting familiar with the area, I'd strongly recommend also including the Absaroka range near Dubois. Completely different geology and scenery. Hiking out of Wiggins Fork or around 5 Pockets area is spectacular. Just be reminded that is much heavier griz territory than the Winds. Soloing must be done with caution.

I've been vacationing here for 18 years and it's hasn't gotten old yet (though I have!)
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Sounds like you're a climber...enjoy the Cirque.....but for hiing go elsewhere... Try pallister's book...better for hikes...or even falcon book. Look in the resource section... I have a couple gpx routes posted. Search this forumwith various combinations of wind river.... There's a bunch.... PM people who have posted trips with ideas. Most loops are 4 days min from trailheads
Bill, Bob, Art - thanks so much. I tend to get a bit OCD with research but your input narrows things down for me. I'll be solo part of the time but my son who works as a trail crew chief in Yellowstone will be joining me part of the time as well. In fact, Bill, he wants to explore the Absorokas as well. I may PM you to follow up. And Bob, you're right, the Kelsey book is detailed but not tailored to putting hiking routes together. Thanks again.
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